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Can the Longevity Risk Alleviate the Annuitization Puzzle? Empirical Evidence from Dutch Data

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  • Federica Teppa

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on individual preferences over annuities and lump sum payments based on hypothetical questions posed in the DNB Household Survey in 2005. Contrary to the majority of papers in the annuitization puzzle literature, this study allows to control explicitly for the subjective survival probability (SSP), a key driver of the decision about whether to annuitize or not as a perceived measure of longevity risk. We find that people expecting to live longer do claim to prefer the annuity. This finding is very robust to controlling for bequest motives. The relevance of this paper is twofold. First, it delivers an important empirical result on the role of the SSP that is still not directly tested in the literature. Second and more important, combined with the empirical evidence that on average individuals tend to systematically underestimate their life expectancy, the findings have strong policy implications. The annuitization puzzle may be alleviated by helping individuals in better assessing their longevity risk, rather than forcing their actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Federica Teppa, 2011. "Can the Longevity Risk Alleviate the Annuitization Puzzle? Empirical Evidence from Dutch Data," DNB Working Papers 302, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:302
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    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/en/binaries/working%20paper%20302_tcm47-255886.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan & Marian V. Wrobel, 2008. "Why Don’t People Insure Late-Life Consumption? A Framing Explanation of the Under-Annuitization Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 304-309, May.
    2. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Poterba, James M. & Warshawsky, Mark J., 2001. "The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262529130, January.
    3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-391, April.
    4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, February.
    5. Carlos Vidal-Meliá & Ana Lejárraga-García, "undated". "Demand for life annuities from married couples with a bequest motive," Working Papers 2005-11, FEDEA.
    6. Amy Finkelstein & James Poterba, 2004. "Adverse Selection in Insurance Markets: Policyholder Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 183-208, February.
    7. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
    8. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan, 2001. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1126-1134, September.
    9. Michael G. Palumbo, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421.
    10. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
    11. Owen O'Donnell & Federica Teppa & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2008. "Can subjective survival expectations explain retirement behaviour?," DNB Working Papers 188, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    12. Vidal-Meli , Carlos & Lej Rraga-Garc A, Ana, 2006. "Demand for life annuities from married couples with a bequest motive," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 197-229, July.
    13. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
    14. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-154.
    15. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:jconsa:v:51:y:2017:i:2:p:255-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tabea Bucher-Koenen & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie & Maarten van Rooij, 2017. "How Financially Literate Are Women? An Overview and New Insights," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 255-283, July.
    3. Bucher-Koenen, Tabea & Kluth, Sebastian, 2013. "Subjective Life Expectancy and Private Pensions," MEA discussion paper series 201214, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Börsch-Supan, A. & Härtl, K. & Leite, D.N., 2016. "Social Security and Public Insurance," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Longevity Risk; Annuitization Puzzle; Survey Data; Hypothetical Choices;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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